Welcome to CENIC Today, the monthly newsletter of the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California. In this issue:
- President's Message: The GENI Project
- CalREN Update: Network Projects and Activities
- CENIC 2006/2007 Is Online -- help us to improve!
- TransitRail Update: New Participants at Ashburn, VA Node
- Second International Orthopedic Videoconference Takes Place at USC
- CCCSAT Becomes 3C Media Solutions: CA Community College Educational Programming Network Gets a New Name
- Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye Introduces Broadband Data Improvement Act
- GridNets Announces First International Conference on Networks for Grid Applications
- Next-Generation WiFi Planned for This Summer, Final 802.11n Standard in 2009
- North Carolina REN Organization MCNC Announces New President/CEO
- Oregon State University Adopts New Time-saving Backup Approach
- UC Berkeley/Australia Team Discover 28 New Exoplanets
- Internet2-NLR Merger Update
- Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center Provides Major Support for Unprecedented Storm Forecast Experiment
- About CENIC
- Subscription Information
It is easy to look back at various initiatives or innovations that have had major effects on technology (specifically networking) and with perfect hindsight, recognize the hallmarks of
their significance after the benefits have become a part of daily life. Other innovations that failed to revolutionize society -- perhaps because they were too far ahead of their time,
because necessary supporting infrastructure was not in place, or because of the inertia of a pre-existing legacy system -- may also have been excellent ideas, but were still fated
to disappear without realizing their potential.
And often, only the passage of time allows us to determine which category today's far-seeing innovations occupy. In 2007, the Model T Ford seems so much more superior to the
Stanley Steamer because we have over one hundred years of perspective to guide us. In 1900, choosing which technology would be the one to reshape the landscape of human
culture would have been far more challenging. Identifying transformational technologies is a lot harder using foresight than hindsight.
There is however one project about which you will shortly begin hearing more that may be looked back at years from now as just one of those watershed initiatives in the arena of
networking. That project is GENI, the Global Environment for Network Innovations, an NSF initiative to inform the development of a new Internet. GENI is a proposed research
platform that will allow technologists throughout the country to build and experiment with new designs to inform the ultimate shape of the next-generation Internet, whatever that
shape will be. Far from a traditional network testbed, with the narrower purpose of investigating specific proposals over existing architectures, GENI also seeks to promote a
"clean slate" approach. Optimal designs for the next generation networking infrastructure may well be far removed from Internet we all use every day; GENI seeks to find those
designs, wherever they may lie, as well as enabling the pursuit of innovations designed to run on existing real-world networks.
Recently, the NSF awarded funding to BBN Technologies to serve as the GENI Project Office, which will be responsible for working with researchers to develop the GENI design.
The actual research projects that GENI will facilitate will still have to pursue their own funding through the NSF. However, the funding of the Project Office may well mark the first
step on the path toward the creation of a 21st century Internet.
In a few decades time, we should be able to tell whether GENI occupies the same space as the Model T or the Stanley Steamer -- whether it is remembered only by historians or
indeed lived up to its potential to reshape the daily lives of millions of people. Stay tuned and check in a decade or two from now for a hindsight assessment.
-- Jim Dolgonas, CENIC
CENIC engineers are finalizing the installation of an additional connection to Qwest Communications for increased ISP redundancy for commodity Internet traffic. With this
connection, CalREN will feature three new Gigabit connections to Qwest in Los Angeles, Sunnyvale, and Sacramento and will offer Associates more robust connectivity to the
CalREN-DC Refresh Project:
CENIC's Digital California network, called CalREN-DC, provides high-quality network services for students, faculty, staff, and researchers throughout the California K-20 system.
CENIC's support of K-12 networking extends the existing CalREN backbone to each of the 58 California counties to facilitate connectivity by California's K-12 schools.
The current CalREN-DC backbone speed is 2.5 Gb/s, and CENIC is currently undertaking an upgrade/refresh of the entire CalREN-DC network that will increase this speed to
10 Gb/s as well as upgrading and replacing vital equipment. This project is called the CalREN-DC Refresh Project and consists of retrofitting the DWDM optical system and
replacing routers and associated equipment along the entire CalREN-DC network. A substantial undertaking, the project includes an assessment of space and power needs
throughout the network as well as shipping, installation, and removal of numerous systems at backbone hub sites throughout California. In addition, the project involves
considerable hardware tracking, inventory, and asset management activities.
Currently, CENIC engineers and contract resources are surveying and documenting both space and power requirements along the CalREN backbone. At the same time, fiber
splicing and testing is being performed and documented on an as-needed basis. Site surveys are nearing completion, and CENIC is working closely with collocation providers to
identify completion dates for the necessary rack and power build-outs that are needed before Cisco Professional Services can begin their site surveys in preparation for
installation of their new optical equipment.
Keep in touch with the status of the CalREN-DC Refresh Project in future issues of CENIC Today!
-- Ed Smith, CENIC
CENIC is keenly aware of the importance of what we provide to our community: cost-effective, high-bandwidth networking to support the needs of faculty, researchers, staff, and
students. This requires not only expertise and commitment, but a constant desire to improve -- and to do that, we need your help.
We would like you to complete a survey to help us continue to improve. In our CENIC 2006/2007 Survey, you'll find questions covering the technical performance both of our
people and the CalREN networks, our promotional and informational materials, CENIC project management, CalREN Video Services, and how much your participation in CalREN
benefits you and your institution. The entire survey will take between 5 and 10 minutes to complete.
The CENIC 2006/2007 Survey will be open until June 30, 2007.
In the March 29 issue of CENIC Today, readers learned of the activation of a new node in Ashburn, VA for the TransitRail nationwide peering program. The first TransitRail node to
be activated east of the Mississippi, the Ashburn node was put into service ahead of schedule and will soon be joined by a fifth node in Chicago, IL.
Together with the current nodes in Seattle, Palo Alto, and Los Angeles, these two new connection points will give the TransitRail peering program a national footprint and enable
research and education institutions to take advantage of low-cost network peering on a national scale. Already, the addition of the Ashburn node has enhanced the significant
benefits available through participation in TransitRail. Current participants connecting through the Ashburn node include the MidAtlantic Terascale Partnership, the Pittsburgh
Supercomputer Center, the North Carolina Research & Education Network, MERIT Network, Inc., Florida LambdaRail, Southern CrossRoads, and the Education Networks of
To learn more about TransitRail, please visit http://www.transitrail.net/.
-- Janis Cortese, CENIC
On February 13 of this year, the first International Orthopedic Videoconference, including participants from the US, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, South Korea, and Malaysia,
took place with the Ohio Supercomputer Center managing. During the conference, surgeons and researchers from all over the globe discussed the utility of high-bandwidth
networking for clinical treatment, remote care, and training, and addressed the specific needs of their countries and institutions.
USC's Keck School of Medicine saw the second in this ongoing series of videoconferences on May 18, 2007 at 8am Pacific Time. This time, participants hailed from the US and
Africa, with surgeons, researchers, and other specialists in California, Indiana, and Washington DC as well as Kenya (Nairobi), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), and Egypt discussing
how they plan to put the Orthopaedic Research and Education Network of East Africa (ORENEA) to work to improve patient care, training, and research. Representatives from
SICOT (The International Society of Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology), the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN), Internet2, and Polycom also discussed the
upcoming SICOT meeting this August in Marrakech, Morocco where Kenya and Tanzania look forward to announcing membership in the organization.
Dr. A. Kinasha from the University of Dar Es Salaam's Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences expressed great interest in the network and SICOT membership. The
institution offers orthopaedic and neurosurgery specialties with 14 practicing surgeons. They were recently pleased to host Dr. Chadwick Smith, President of SICOT, and
Internet2 health sciences advisor W. Edward Johansen, and look forward to benefiting from remote learning and eHealth. Dr. Smith, along with Mr. Johansen, participated from
USC, and congratulated the team from the University of Dar es Salaam on the intense, high-level work done toward achieving membership in SICOT.
Darrell Bailey of the Indiana University School of Informatics also participated from Washington, DC and expressed anticipation at being able to work together with AMPATH,
Kenya's Moi University, and the IU School of Medicine on pressing issues of global interest, including AIDS training and professional development for physicians in Kenya,
where the epidemic shows signs of easing but nonetheless has exacted a high toll. Specialists participating from Kenya also looked forward to achieving SICOT membership,
and opening a GDLN learning center in mid-June, currently in the process of installation and testing. Polycom's Director of Health Care Markets Ron Emerson stated that he
looked forward to seeing videoconferencing technology break down geographic barriers, making experts and centers of excellence available worldwide.
The entire videoconference is available in Windows Media and Quicktime formats at http://sg60.oar.net/eHealth/ under the heading of "eHealth East Africa." Be sure to watch
and see how high-bandwidth networking can benefit not only California and the US, but global medical research and education.
-- Janis Cortese, CENIC
Based out of Palomar College -- the first community college to receive Gigabit connectivity to the CalREN backbone -- 3C Media Solutions (formerly CCCSAT) is the educational
distribution network dedicated to assisting the California Community Colleges (CCC) in providing ubiquitous access to academic and vocational instruction as well as CCC
relevant information and entertainment. They serve over 2.5 million students and 85,000 faculty and staff throughout the state.
3C Media Solutions delivers high-quality, digital broadcasts to 127 Affiliate locations including every California Community College, college district office and the CCC
Chancellor's Office. These entities not only contribute relevant programming, but also serve as locations where students, faculty, staff and administrators can meet, collaborate,
learn and enrich their lives.
3C Media Solutions is a statewide, grant-funded initiative established by the California Community College Chancellor's Office in 1997 to advance distance learning and support
the mission of the California Community College system.
To learn more about CCCSAT, now 3C Media Solutions, visit their website, where you will find information on the history of the network, its distribution channels and programming
schedule, technical information, and legal and copyright information. The new website at http://www.3cmediasolutions.org/ will go live on July 1, 2007.
-- Janis Cortese, CENIC
On May 24, 2007, Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI), with the co-sponsorship of Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Maria Cantwell
(D-WA.), Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), introduced the Broadband Data Improvement Act, S. 1492, which seeks to improve the quality of federal broadband
data collection and encourages state initiatives that promote broadband deployment.
"The first step in an improved broadband policy is ensuring that we have better data on which to build our efforts," said Chairman Inouye. "In a digital age, the world will not wait for
us. It is imperative that we get our broadband house in order and our communications policy right. But we cannot manage what we do not measure."
The Broadband Data Improvement Act specifically would direct the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reevaluate its current 200 kilobit broadband standard. It also
would require the FCC to create a new metric known as .second generation broadband. to be used to reflect network connections capable of reliably transmitting high-definition
video content. Other directives of the Act focus on benchmarks for broadband availability and deployment, measuring broadband use versus dial-up, comparing the US's broadband
penetration versus other nations, and measuring the impact of broadband speed and price on small businesses.
The Act would also authorize a 5-year, $40 million per year program that would provide matching grants to State non-profit, public-private partnerships in support of efforts to more
accurately identify barriers to broadband adoption throughout the State.
More information, including the full text of the Act, can be found online at the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.
The GridNets conference series is an annual international meeting which provides a focused and highly interactive forum where researchers and technologists have the opportunity
to present and discuss leading research, developments, and future directions in the Grid networking area. The objective of this event is to serve as both the premier conference
presenting best Grid Networking research and a forum where new concepts can be introduced and explored.
The previous events in this series were: GridNets 2004 in San Jose (USA), GridNets 2005 in Boston (USA), GridNets 2006 in San Jose (USA). All of these events have been
successful in attracting high quality papers and a wide international participation. From the first event through the fourth, we have been known as the GridNets Workshop affiliated
with the IEEE BroadNets conference series. For this, our fifth event, we will convene our first meeting as a conference and in Europe. The proceedings will be published by ACM
and will be available through ACM Digital Library. Best papers will be considered for publication in a special section of Elsevier Future Generation Computer Systems (FGCS) -
The International Journal of Grid Computing: Theory, Methods and Application.
The conference will be held from October 17-19, 2007 in Lyon, France and information about the conference program, workshops, committees, and lodging/travel can be found
online at the GridNets 2007 conference website.
The Wi-Fi Alliance says it will begin certifying wireless routers and other networking equipment that conforms to the "Draft N" standard next month, even though the final 802.11n
standard -- which is expected to be about five times faster than the widely used "g" variety and will offer better reach through walls and into dead spots--won't be available until
The Wi-Fi Alliance announced on May 16 that it will begin certifying wireless routers, networking cards, microchips, and other so-called "Draft N" products in June. The products,
which take their name from the upcoming 802.11n technical standard, are expected to reach schools and other consumers shortly thereafter.
Wi-Fi comes in several flavors -- "b," "a," "g," and soon "n" -- referring to the subsection of the technical guidelines issued by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers,
a technical professional organization.
The "n" version is expected to be about five times faster than the widely used "g" variety, reaching hypothetical data rates of up to 248 megabits per second (Mb/s) -- though in
practice, speeds rarely reach what is listed on the box. Draft N products are said to offer better reach through walls and into dead spots ...
Source: eSchool News Online
MCNC, which developed and operates the nationally recognized North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN) and a catalyst for technology based economic
development in North Carolina for the last 27 years, announced on May 11, 2007 that Joseph A. (Joe) Freddoso will become the organization's CEO on July 1. Freddoso most
recently was Senior Director of Community Relations for Cisco.
MCNC Board Chairman Mike Murphy announced Freddoso's hiring on behalf the MCNC Board of Directors. "The MCNC board conducted a nationwide search to fill the leadership
role for our organization. We are pleased to have reached agreement with someone who is familiar to many North Carolinians, particularly those in the education community,"
Murphy said. "Joe's track record of commitment to students at all levels of education in North Carolina is well known, and his leadership provides a great foundation to maintain
and enhance the high level of service MCNC has been providing to our continually expanding education customers."
MCNC's core focus is delivering high speed, reliable network services to enable research and education at all public universities and many private universities and colleges
throughout North Carolina. A growing number of community colleges and K-12 schools are also supported by NCREN.
More information about MCNC and the NCREN can be found online at http://www.mcnc.org/.
A new backup and restore system at Oregon State University Foundation has reduced weekly backup time for the system administrator from days, to just 90 minutes. "I'd hate
to think how my Mondays would be without it," said Systems and Database Administrator Lyle Utt.
The system, on which all of the foundation's data is backed up to either disk or tape, is "a huge time-saver," according to Utt, who backs up about a terabyte of data nightly. "I
was spending all day Monday doing backups. So I'm quite pleased with STORServer; it's freed me up to do other things."
The OSU Foundation, with assets of more than $500 million, is a nonprofit organization chartered to raise and administer private funds in support of Oregon State University
education, research and outreach. Utt backs up two server locations, a local office in Corvalis, OR, where the foundation is located, and another in Portland, on OSU's campus.
The OSU computer, which is also used for offsite storage, is synched up nightly with the local system and is backed up to disk only; the local server is backed up to disk first,
then from there eventually to tape.
Source: Campus Technology
Astronomers on teams from UC Berkeley and Australia reported the discovery of 28 new planets all at once on Monday, and their leader -- working through the night all this
week at the world's biggest telescope in Hawaii -- is now on the hunt for rocky planets that might resemble Earth.
"An overarching question now is whether our own solar system is really alone," said Geoffrey Marcy, the Berkeley astronomer whose team has led in the discovery of what are
now widely known as "exoplanets."
The 28 planets they and their Anglo-Australian colleagues reported bring the total number of exoplanets discovered to 236 since the first one was detected barely a dozen years
ago, and now the rush is on.
The two teams reporting Monday said that besides the 28 planets they discovered during the past year, they also found seven brown dwarfs -- huge and strange objects much
larger than Jupiter that are called "failed stars" because they never grew to a size and mass big enough to turn on their nuclear fires and blaze forth as true stars.
But among the confirmed solar systems detected during the past year, four of the stars hold at least two planets in orbit and maybe more that are as yet undetected, the
astronomers said. Two other stars hold objects that are even more puzzling: They could be either giant gas planets or brown dwarfs, and only more investigations with more
sensitive instruments will be able to identify them for certain.
The Network Planning Team (NPT) and the Merger Planning Team (MPT) held an initial joint meeting this week.
The NPT has been developing a plan for creating the national backbone architecture that best serves the research and education community's needs. They have assimilated
information and guidance from the community to develop their set of recommendations. The MPT will take up the NPT recommendations to develop the definitive agreement to
merge Internet2 and National LambdaRail.
The MPT, jointly led by the chairs of Internet2 and NLR, will now build on the NPT's efforts and focus on the business aspects of work towards a merger. It is the MPT's
responsibility, with the assistance of counsel, to prepare the definitive agreement that will be presented to the Internet2 and NLR Boards. The MPT will also provide guidance
about which issues need to be addressed as part of the process to finalize the definitive agreement and which issues will be better addressed by the new merged organization.
The latest available information about the merger process can always be found at: http://www.internet2-nlr.org/, including detailed FAQs, team statements, and contact
A major goal of the 2007 NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed (HWT) Spring Experiment is to assess how well "ensemble" forecasting -- a very computationally demanding
approach -- works to predict thunderstorms, including the "supercells" that spawn tornados. It is the first time ensemble forecasts, multiple runs of the same forecast model (to
measure the uncertainty inherent in weather forecasts), are being carried out at the spatial resolution at which storms occur (finer than operational forecasts, thereby requiring
more computing). It is also the first time ensemble forecasts are being carried out in real time in an operational forecast environment.
"Ensembles have been used extensively in larger-scale models," said Steven Weiss, Science and Operations Officer of the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) in Norman,
Oklahoma. "But they have never before been used at the scale of storms. This is unique - both in terms of the forecast methodology and the enormous amount of computing. The
technological logistics to make this happen are nothing short of amazing."
Collaborators in the experiment, in addition to PSC and SPC, are the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms (CAPS) at the University of Oklahoma, Norman; the NOAA
National Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman; LEAD (Linked Environments for Atmospheric Discovery), an NSF Large Information Technology Research grant program and
TeraGrid Science Gateway; and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in Illinois, a lead TeraGrid resource provider.
Source: Pittsburgh Supercomputer Center
California's education and research communities leverage their networking resources under CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, in order to obtain
cost-effective, high-bandwidth networking to support their missions and answer the needs of their faculty, staff, and students. CENIC designs, implements, and operates CalREN,
the California Research and Education Network, a high-bandwidth, high-capacity Internet network specially designed to meet the unique requirements of these communities, and
to which the vast majority of the state's K-20 educational institutions are connected. In order to facilitate collaboration in education and research, CENIC also provides connectivity
to non-California institutions and industry research organizations with which CENIC's Associate researchers and educators are engaged.
CENIC is governed by its member institutions. Representatives from these institutions also donate expertise through their participation in various committees designed to ensure
that CENIC is managed effectively and efficiently, and to support the continued evolution of the network as technology advances.
For more information, visit www.cenic.org.
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